Food premises in Indigo Shire

Environmental Health is the branch of public health that is concerned with all aspects of the natural and built environment that may affect human health. Council Environmental Health Officers accordingly implement environmental health policies and legislation through the monitoring and control of activities and strive to ensure a healthy, sustainable and improved environment in the Shire.

Environmental health services include:

  • Food Safety
  • Health
  • Investigation of Complaints
  • On-site Wastewater Disposal
  • Food Safety

The main objective of food surveillance within Indigo Shire is to ensure that food sold within the municipality is safe and suitable for human consumption. All food premises are registered and inspected by Council's Environmental Health Officers. In addition, samples of food are purchased and tested by an independent laboratory to ensure compliance with the National Food Standards Code.

New Business/Alterations:

Should you decide to operate a food premises, whether it is existing or you plan to construct or alter a building, you need to be aware that there are certain regulations, standards and council requirements to consider.

It is recommended that you seek advice from Council's Development; Building and Environmental Health units to ensure you become familiar with all the requirements relating to your application before you proceed.

Council has prepared Food Premises Design and Construction Guidelines document as an initial guide as to what is required. *attach*

Registration:

All current and new retail food establishments operating within the Shire are required to be registered with Council on an annual basis. All new businesses must ensure they are registered prior to the commencement of operation of the business.

Please complete the Application Registration of Food Premises form and return to Council. It is the proprietor's responsibility to ensure the premises are registered with Council annually.

If you would like more information, require your premises to be registered or your registration needs to be renewed contact Council's Environmental Health Officer on 02 6028 1100.

Details should be updated with Council when the address, proprietor or business name changes.

Inspections:

Council has powers under the Food Act 1984 to inspect any premises where food is prepared or distributed for public consumption. This is part of Council's service and ongoing commitment to it's residents.

Council has a public register of 198 commercial food premises that pay registration fees and these have now been classified in accordance with new guidelines from the Victorian Department of Health. The greater the risk of the food and the potential for things to go wrong during the food handling processes, the higher a business's classification and inspection frequency.

Inspections of food premises are aimed at ensuring the supply of safe food to the consumer by assessing food premises construction and activities against relevant legislation and standards. Food businesses will be inspected and required to comply with food regulations. Council will take immediate action to address non-compliance.

Compliance with regulations will require food businesses to maintain premises and equipment in good repair, demonstrate thorough cleaning practices, ensure correct storage of foods and that staff receive training

The food safety standards are designed to ensure that food produced in Australia is safe to eat. The three standards include:

Food Safety Program:

A food safety program is a written document that shows how a business is managing the safety of the food prepared, served, manufactured or sold.

All Victorian food businesses (Class 1 and 2) are required to have a food safety program before food business registration can be granted. You will need to submit your food safety program to the Indigo Shire. This document is available on the Department of Health Victorias website, or at Council.

Food Safety Supervisor:

Each business needs to nominate a food safety supervisor when it submits its food safety program. This person will be responsible for the implementation of the food safety program.

Businesses are required to provide council with the name and qualifications of the food safety supervisor. All Indigo Shire Council food businesses must submit to council:

  • a copy of their food safety supervisor's qualifications
  • a signed statement by the proprietor stating that the nominated food safety supervisor has the ability and the authority to supervise food handlers.

It is the responsibility of the food business to notify council in writing within 14 days of any changes to the food safety program or supervisor.

Sampling

  • The Environmental Health Unit also conducts routine food sampling throughout the Shire. The shire currently has a four-year sampling program in place, and all premises can expect to be involved at some time during this period. Some complaints regarding food safety may also result in samples being taken as part of an investigation.

Last updated: 28 September 2011